Leonard Rosoman: Painting Theatre
3 February – 29 April 2018
Exploring the influence of theatre on British painter Leonard Rosoman, this exhibition includes 16 works from his series based on John Osborne’s play A Patriot For Me.
Not exhibited together since the 70s, Leonard Rosoman’s works based on John Osborne’s controversial 1965 play convey its ‘claustrophobic, sometimes savage atmosphere’ and capture a moment in time when attitudes towards sexuality and censorship were on the cusp of change.
Rather than depicting the play itself, Rosoman’s paintings act as the artist’s own response to the same material Osborne was addressing as a writer. Having attended the first performance of the play at London's Royal Court Theatre, Rosoman was so moved that he returned every night for a week to draw by torchlight. He revisited these first impressions three years later, producing a series of works including two major paintings on the play’s ‘drag ball’ scene.
The first major museum show of Rosoman’s work in 30 years, this exhibition is part of a nationwide programme celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts (Rosoman is a Royal Academician).